The Kansas City Royals might not be playoff favorites this year, but there are plenty of reasons to watch the team, which should be better than last year’s squad. There’s a new skipper, a new big cheese over the baseball operations department, and an everyday lineup that will feature an array of young Royals hitters led by a budding star in Bobby Witt Jr.
Unfortunately, baseball’s frustrating local blackouts, relative lack of nationally televised games, and streaming woes have made it harder than ever to figure out how to watch the Royals—and that’s without even going into Diamond Sports’ bankruptcy, which we’ll get into in a minute. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to watch the Royals in 2023, so buckle down and let’s take a ride.
What channel are Royals games on?
Broadcasts of Royals games are on Bally Sports KC throughout Kansas and the Kansas City metro area. If you are watching elsewhere in the Kansas City TV market area, Royals games will appear on Bally Sports Midwest or Bally Sports Southwest, depending on your location.
The Royals will also appear on other broadcasts at least seven times this season, twice on Apple TV+ and three times on FS1, and twice on FOX.
- May 12 at Milwaukee Brewers - Apple TV+
- June 5 at Miami Marlins - FS1
- June 17 vs. Los Angeles Angels - FS1
- June 30 at Baltimore Orioles - Apple TV+
- July 1 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - FOX
- August 12 vs. St. Louis Cardinals - FOX
- August 28 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates - FS1
Will the Diamond Sports bankruptcy affect Royals game availability?
It’s one thing for Bally Sports KC to claim that they will carry 158 Royals games this year, but with the recent Diamond Sports bankruptcy, should Royals fans worry that they won’t be able to watch the team at all?
While a lot can change quickly, it seems unlikely that the Bally Sports bankruptcy will affect Royals game availability for the time being. This is for a variety of reasons. First, MLB is preparing to step in to broadcast games in Bally Sports’ stead should it get to that point, so Royals games will be broadcast by someone this year. Additionally, while it has been reported that Bally Sports is interested in rejecting the broadcast contracts with a few franchises, the Royals are not one of them (yet).
In other words, at the moment, it’s business as usual. But the possibility that something changes during the season exists, as does the possibility of longer-term shifts to baseball’s revenue model, which Ben Clemens brilliantly outlined at Fangraphs.
What providers carry Bally Sports KC?
Bally Sports KC is available on cable and satellite packages in Kansas City, including Spectrum and DirecTV. If you live within the Kansas City TV market area but don’t live in Kansas City—such as Des Moines, Springfield, Omaha, and the like—game availability via your cable or satellite subscription is slightly more complicated. Bally Sports has more specific information on this scenario in their own 2023 telecast guide.
In recent years, TV streaming services have stepped in to fill the void as more and more people cut the proverbial cable. Bally Sports KC is available on FuboTV and DirecTV Stream within the Kansas City TV market area. Packages with Bally Sports KC start at $74.99 per month with FuboTV and $99.99 per month with DirecTV Stream’s CHOICE tier.
Can I stream Bally Sports KC by itself?
Yes. Last year, Bally Sports released the Bally Sports+ streaming option. The service costs $19.99 per month; Royals games are available within the entire Kansas City TV market area throughout Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas. Bally Sports+ does not require a cable subscription or a subscription to a TV streaming service.
What can fans do who don’t live in the KC television market?
Out-of-market fans can watch Royals games on MLB.tv, which is $24.99 per month. You can also subscribe to a yearly package—including Spring Training games—for $149.99 for the year for all MLB teams or $129.99 for the year for one MLB team.
However, please note that you will not be able to watch the Royals when they play whichever MLB team or teams are in your market area. For instance, Seattle residents would be unable to watch the Royals when they are in town to play the Mariners, as Seattle residents are unable to watch Mariners games for the same reason that Kansas City fans using MLB.tv cannot watch Royals games.
Who are the broadcasters for the Royals in 2023?
Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler will remain as the main play-by-play announcer and analyst, respectively, this season. The Royals will also supplement the two mainstays with a collection of new talent. Jake Eisenberg, former play-by-play announcer for the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers, will step into Steve Physioc’s role following his retirement.
Additionally, the Royals are bringing in Mike Sweeney and Jeremy Guthrie for “select pregame and postgame shows, and as guests in the booth.” Joel Goldberg and Jeff Montgomery will continue to host Royals Live.